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U.S. Nationals Coverage: Pairs As it Happened

Amanda Dobbs and Joseph Jacobsen:  These two train with Meno and Sand and start out in sixth today.  A fairly new pair; how nice it must be for them to be getting national tv coverage..  A single on a side by side (planned double?) jumps.  Great throw triple salchow.  This pair does seem new to this sort of competition but they are skating so well.  They'll surely add some more difficulty as time goes on.  97.34 in the free.

Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski: Fifth place after the short.  yes - land sbs triple salchows.  AH she held onto that throw triple salchow landing.  But a bit wonky on the next side by side jumps.  Turned out on throw triple flip landing, ugh!  This pair is so pretty, they remind you that pairs skating is more than just two people skating next to each other and flinging each other around.  114.31. 

Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker:  ooh, the eyes of intensity.  Let's see.  landed the sbs trip salchows, but kind of screwed up the toe loops.  No fall!  hee.  great twist.  Rockne held onto that double axel.  Great throw triple sal!  Looks like Keauna's eyes of intensity work magic.  Argh, sloppy landing off the lift.  Two-foot landing on throw triple loop.  Good, but definitely some mistakes.  113.18.  Wow - behind Castile and Okolski.  The Olympic selection announcement just got a lot more interesting, although Hamilton just expressed doubt that they could be named to the team.  I'd have to many sponsors are freaking out right now....

Molly Aaron and Daniyel Cohen:  These two are adorable.  Double twist, sbs doubles nice.  Great throw triple toe.  sbs jumps strike again, but again not a fall.  Erk...crazy ending lift...she kind of falls onto him at the end, but he seemed a bit out of control at the beginning of it.  I think they were tired.  What a great job, though! Someone was talking to me and I missed the score.

Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig:  Nice triple twist, triple toes were ok, but the combo was not nice.  Aaand she just fell on the throw triple lutz - sad.  wow, landed that last throw nice.  This lift is sick.  They are really nailing the second half of this program...unfortunately I assume those early errors will hurt them. 115.02 - ACK I may have been wrong!!  They are in first!!!  It was a really great performance.  Three pairs left...

Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett:  good twist...nailed those side by side triples.  YES throw triple lutz.  geez they don't quit with the side by side jumping success - so refreshing!  Ridic.  A perfectly clean skate, how often do we see that in pairs?  Vancouver, here you come!!!!  127.29.   No one will come close.

Rena Inoue and John Baldwin:  Still a chance for this team to make another Olympic team.  Can they follow Denney and Barrett?  Of course, he doubles the side by side triple toes.  Throw triple loop.  SHE ACTUALLY LANDED THAT THROW TRIPLE AXEL.  No speed at all - well, that was nice to see.  I know how important that move is for them.  No major errors, and they really did a great job with this program.  Rena is overwhelmed, and I kind of am too!  I think they have a very real shot at making the team.  Sigh...I love skating.  115.41.  oh no they did not.  Wow.  Guess the judges are ready to move on.

Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin:  I'm still kind of reeling from that placement for Inoue and Baldwin but I will shake it off for you readers.  heh.  NICE TWIST.  er, that throw triple sal had just too much for her.  Held onto that side by side triple toe.  Another wacky spin for them.  I don't understand Tom Hammond.  I try not to.  Nice lift.  And there it goes....fall on the throw triple loop.  And she's done - fell on the side by side double axels.  102.74.

So the podium:

1) Denney and Barrett

2) Evora and Ladwig

3) Inoue and Baldwin

The olympic announcement is coming later tonight and I'll blog it.  I didn't think Inoue and Baldwin should be placed after Evora and Ladwig, but now that these are the standings, I would personally give the Olympic spots to the top two teams.  I don't think Inoue and Baldwin are likely enough to medal to warrant leapfrogging them over Evora and Ladwig.  Wow - they have finally broken through onto the nationals program podium and possibly onto the Olympic team.  And Denney and Barrett gave us another  memorable nationals program.  What a great day to watch pairs skating.